Surgical Negligence

doctors in surgery 609 x 480 lowAccording to an article in the journal Archives of Surgery (November 2009), an estimated five to 10 incorrect surgical procedures occur every day in the United States, some with devastating effects. The Veterans Health Administration implemented a pilot program to reduce the risk of incorrect surgical events in 2002, which resulted in a national directive in 2003. Yet as recently as 2011, the “Sun Times” reported that surgical errors were occurring as often as 40 times a week.

When you go in for surgery, you are literally putting your life in the hands of the medical professionals. You expect that certain standards of care will be upheld. Usually they are, but in those cases where errors are made, the results can cause significant pain, suffering, and even death.

If you or a loved one were a victim of surgical negligence in New York, you may benefit from a consultation with the New York medical malpractice lawyers at the Sanders Firm. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of victims including those who have suffered harm from the Da Vinci surgical robot.

Types of surgical negligence in New York

There are a number of different types of surgical malpractice, or errors that can occur during surgery. These may include:

  • Wrong side: Because of miscommunication, a doctor may operate on the wrong side of the body.
  • Wrong patient: If records get crossed between patients, the doctor may operate on the wrong one, particularly if doctors are rushed.
  • Removal of wrong organ: If a doctor removes an organ during surgery without your consent, because of inadvertent surgical damage or an overly aggressive approach, the doctor may be liable for surgical negligence.
  • Lacerations or tears: Because doctors are often fatigued during surgery, they may mistakenly cut or tear something they were not supposed to. This can lead to severed nerves, paralysis, organ perforations, and other complications.
  • Failure to obtain consent: You must sign certain documents giving your consent for the surgery before going through it. If healthcare professionals fail to get this consent, they could be held liable.
  • Leaving foreign objects behind: Sponges, clamps, or instruments can be left inside the patient’s body.
  • Anesthesia accidents: If the dose of the anesthesia drugs isn’t carefully controlled, brain damage or death may result.
  • Wrong surgery: Particularly with surgeries that have similar sounding names, doctors may perform the wrong surgery on a patient.
  • Burns and tissue damage: During laparoscopic surgeries, doctors may mistakenly burn surrounding tissues.
  • Infections: If proper standards of cleanliness and disinfection techniques aren’t followed and the patient gets an infection, healthcare practitioners may be held liable.

New York surgical malpractice lawsuit may result in settlements

The 2002 Annual Report from the National Practitioner Data Bank states that in 2002, over 4,000 medical malpractice payments were made due to surgery related malpractice in the U.S.

Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare entities may be held liable in a case of surgical negligence. A thorough review of all medical records can unearth evidence that may prove your case. Breakdowns in communication, overworked health care providers, improper clearance for surgery, misinterpretation of pre-admission procedures, and failure to perform pre-operative testing are just some of the errors that may occur.

Though a jury award from a New York surgical malpractice lawsuit may not completely make up for the pain and suffering a victim endures because of surgical negligence, it can help soothe the financial burden of coping with medical expenses, lost wages, and everyday costs of living. If you or a loved one was seriously injured and you suspect surgical negligence in New York, contact our New York medical malpractice lawyers at the Sanders Firm today. We will be happy to provide you with a free initial consultation.